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Taxi Driver, Blazing Saddles, Saturday Night Fever - May 21-22, 2010


LoewsJersey
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The '70s

On The Big Screen

 

 

At The Landmark Loew?s Jersey Theatre

A Not-For-Profit Arts Center in a Historic Movie Palace

 

54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ 07306

Tel: (201) 798-6055 Web: www.loewsjersey.org

 

As the Loew's Jersey continues to celebrate its 80th Anniversary Year, we present three landmark films of 1970s.

 

All in 35mm

 

Friday, May 21 8PM

"Taxi Driver" Starring Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Score by Bernard Herrmann. (1976, 113mins, Color)

$6 for adults; $4 for seniors (65+) and children (12 & younger)

 

"I'm God's lonely man," says Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro in one of his finest and most memorable performances. He?s an insomniac, ex-Marine and chronic loner who, even when he tries, can?t seem to relate to the world around him. He drives a cab at night in the decaying New York City of the mid-1970s, which director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader depict as a grimly stylized hell on Earth, where noise, filth, directionless rage, and dirty sex (both morally and literally) surround him at all turns. Lost in this toxic milieu, chronically isolated and potentially volatile, Bickle is a bomb waiting to explode, like the proverbial gun which, when produced in the first act, must go off in the third. After an encounter with a malevolent fare (played by Scorsese), the increasingly paranoid Bickle begins to condition (and arm) himself for his imagined destiny, a mission that mutates from assassinating a Presidential candidate to violently "saving" a teenage hooker (played by Jodie Foster) from her pimp. De Niro's masterful performance brings Travis vividly to life; Scorsese's dynamic, idiosyncratic visual storytelling (given an invaluable assist by cinematographer Michael Chapman) provides the perfect narrative context; and Bernard Herrmann's eerie final score (finished the day he died) provides perfect punctuation. The work is a timeless, noir-ishly dystopian rumination on the mythology of American heroism that emphasizes the myth?s sometimes obsessively violent underpinnings. But Taxi Driver is also very much a distillation of the fears and fixations of its time. Released in the Bicentennial year, after the socially turbulent years of the late 1960s and early ?70s, Vietnam, Watergate, and attention-getting attempts on President Gerald Ford's life, Taxi Driver's intense portrait of a man and a society unhinged spoke resonantly to audiences of its era. It remains a striking milestone of both Scorsese's career and 1970s Hollywood.

 

Saturday, May 22 6:15PM

"Blazing Saddles" Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman, Mel Brooks. Written & Directed by Mel Brooks. (1974, 93mins, Color)

$6 for adults; $4 for seniors (65+) and children (12 & younger)

 

Blazing Saddles is vulgar, crude and sometimes scandalous ? and is one of the funniest and most successful film spoofs of all time. It is also writer-director Mel Brooks at his ribald best, with further outrageous hilarity added in by co-writer Richard Pryor. Cleavon Little plays the first African-American sheriff of a stunned Western town scheduled for demolition by an encroaching railroad. If that plot sounds, at least in part, like a throw-back to the movies of an earlier time, it?s because Brooks was, in his own manic, Borscht Belt way, a central figure in revising classic film genres to reflect 1970s values and attitudes ? an effort more often associated with such directors as Robert Altman and Peter Bogdanovich. Blazing Saddles is a work that truly could have only been made in the ?70s ? the idiom of the classic American western hijacked into an over-the-top comedy that purposely and relentlessly shredded the popular conception of ?good taste? while making merciless fun of EVERYONE, regardless of skin color or religious persuasion. If blacks came off as stereotypical, whites were shown as just plain stupid and ignorant. The result was one of the funniest films of all time ? which, ironically, could probably not be made today in our more politically correct, up-tight time. Beyond its over-the-top humor, Blazing Saddles boasts some great performances: Little and Gene Wilder have great chemistry; Madeline Kahn is wonderful as a chanteuse modeled on Marlene Dietrich; and Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman and even Brooks himself turn in great supporting roles.

 

Saturday, May 22 8:40PM

"Saturday Night Fever" Starring John Travolta, Karen Gorney, Barry Miller, Joseph Cali, Paul Pope. (1977, 119mins, Color)

$6 for adults; $4 for seniors (65+) and children (12 & younger)

 

From the moment John Travolta sauntered down a Brooklyn street to the Bee Gees? "Stayin' Alive" at the beginning of Saturday Night Fever, music, movies and all of pop culture were irrevocably changed, and the 1970s gained what is perhaps the decade's single most recognizable celluloid imagery. Travolta plays Tony Manero, a Brooklyn paint-store clerk who?s trapped in a dead-end existence ? except at night on the disco dance floor, where, when he struts his stuff amidst flashing lights and sweaty, undulating bodies, he?s a king. Part of the film?s success owes to how astutely it balanced a gritty sense of 1970s economic and social malaise with galvanizing dance numbers. But of course, the hallmark of the film is Travolata?s star-making performance ? especially the scenes in his iconic white suite ? and the Bee Gees? soundtrack. During the first half of 1978, the movie's disco songs saturated the singles charts, occupying up to four positions at a time, prompting more and more people to see the movie -- just as, in turn, the movie's vast popularity prompted more and more record sales. This powerful marketing synergy between movie and music set a new standard, with the film eventually grossing over $100 million and the soundtrack becoming one of the best selling albums of all time. For many young people at the time, the film marked their generation's coming of age and was an indelible move-going experience. By any measure, Saturday Night Fever is the definitive evocation of the Disco Era, an affirmation of Disco's dominance (however brief) of the pop culture scene.

 

(Film descriptions compiled from AllMovie.com and other sources.)

 

- - - Combo discounts for multiple film screenings are available. - - -

 

The Loew's Is Easy To Get To: The Loew's Jersey Theatre, at 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ, is directly across JFK Boulevard from the JSQ PATH Center with trains to and from Lower and Midtown Manhattan and Newark's Penn Station, and is minutes from the NJ Turnpike, Rts 3 and 1&9 and the Holland & Lincoln Tunnels. We're easy to reach by car or mass transit from throughout the Metro Region.

Discount of-street parking is available in Square Ramp Garage adjoining the Loew's at the foot of Magnolia Avenue off of Tonnele Avenue, behind the Loew's. Patrons must validate their parking ticket before leaving the Theatre.

 

What?s Special About Seeing A Movie At The Loew?s? The Landmark Loew?s Jersey Theatre is one of America?s grandest surviving Movie Palaces. We show movies the way they were meant to be seen: in a grandly ornate setting ? on our BIG 50 ft wide screen! The Loew?s runs reel-to-reel, not platter, projection, which often allows us to screen an archival or studio vault print that is the best available copy of a movie title.

The Loew?s is managed by Friends of the Loew?s, Inc. as a non-profit. Multi-discipline performing arts center.

Classic Film Weekends are presented by Friends of the Loew?s, Inc.

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